SOS CHILDREN’S VILLAGE ZAMBIA
SOS Children’s Villages Zambia is an affiliate to SOS Children’s Villages International. It was established soon after the Second World War as a mitigating response to the growing population of homeless children, who had lost their families during the Second World War.
SOS Children’s Villages Zambia was established in 1999. It works within the organization’s vision of ensuring that every orphan and vulnerable child is provided with a home where they receive love, respect and security. It established its first Family Based Care (FBC) programme comprising fifteen family houses in Lusaka. With the growing demand for its services, SOS Children’s Villages Zambia has expanded its geographical reach to Kitwe, Livingstone and Chipata. The organisation has also increased the number of beneficiaries as well as programme interventions.
WHO WE ARE
OUR ROOTS – What we are
- The SOS Children’s Villages concept, pioneered a family approach to the long-term care of orphaned and abandoned children.
- We take action for children as an independent non-governmental social development organization.
- We respect varying religions and cultures.
- We work in the spirit of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
OUR VISION – What we want for the world’s children
- Every child belongs to a family and grows with love, respect and security.
OUR MISSION – What we do
- We build families for children in need, we help them shape their own futures and we share in the development of their communities.
OUR VALUES – What keeps us strong
Courage: We take action
Commitment: We keep our promises
Trust: We believe in each other
Accountability: We are reliable partners
The SOS Children’s Villages are built on four principles:.
The Mother: Represents the biological parents. She lives with the children with whose care she has been entrusted in a family house, teaches them about the organization of daily life, establishes strong relations based on trust and affection, and provides the children with a warm and reassuring home. The women who undertake this very demanding job are single and have gone through an intensive two year training course;
Brothers and Sisters: Children grow up as brothers and sisters and natural siblings are never separated.
The House: Every SOS family has a house of its own. The house is the family’s house, with its own unique feelings, rhythm and routine. Under its roof, Children enjoy a real sense of security and belonging. Children grow and learn together, sharing responsibilities and all the joys and sorrows of daily life.
Village: is made up of an average of 10 to 15 family houses. The village constitutes a family-like community and gives the children cultural roots and a sense of belonging. The child is eligible for admission into the village family house from day one of his/her birth up to the age of 12 years. At the age of 14 or 15, adolescents leave the village family house for the SOS Youth House, which will lead them progressively towards becoming independent adults. The youth facilities are headed by Youth care Co-Workers who advise and guide youth. Youth learn to manage their finances and organize their everyday life. Whilst at the youth facilities, youth continue their studies up to professional college or university training.
ALTERNATIVE CARE PROGRAMMES
The SOS Alternative Care is a long term approach which provides for a permanent home and care solution to children who have lost their parents or whose parents are unable to suitably care for them. The purpose of SOS Children’s Village is to build families for Children in need and help them shape their own futures. We give Children the opportunity to build lasting relationships within a family, we enable them live according to their own culture and religion and we help them to recognize and express their individual abilities, interest and talent.
The SOS Herman Gmeiner (HG) schools were established to compliment the Government of the Republic of Zambia’s efforts to provide quality education to the Zambian children. The Herman Gmeiner Schools start from Kindergarten where the children receive Early Childhood Education to primary school and finally through to secondary school where the children obtain a General Certificate of Education.
The main objective of SOS Hermann Gmeiner School is to provide quality primary and secondary Education to suit local and international standards, primarily to orphaned and abandoned children from SOS Children’s Village and the surrounding communities.
THE SOS VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTRE
The Vocational Training Centre became operational in 2005. It provides skills training to orphans and vulnerable youths, to enable them sustain themselves in later life. The long-term, overarching development goals of the VTC are:
- To establish and facilitate programmes that aim at strengthening families and preventing the abandonment of youths through provision of life sustaining skills.
- To provide quality skills that will enable vulnerable youths to compete favourably on the labour market.
- To provide skills training and projects for economic development and self-reliance.
- To develop entrepreneurial skills in youths.
The increase in the number of youths requiring skills training has prompted the expansion of the facility, with the vocational training center now offering courses in carpentry and joinery, power electrical, tailoring and food production.
THE FAMILY STRENGTHENING PROGRAMME (FS)
The SOS Family Strengthening Programme (FSP) is a Community-based child care programme which was established in 2002. It aims to prevent child abandonment through the empowerment of children, youths, guardians, and families as a whole. This is done through the provision of income generating activities, facilitation of village savings and loans groups, the provision of food security inputs, and the capacity building of community structures. The FS programme has supported 8666 children and 1802 families to date.
The SOS Gender programme is focused on the promotion of gender equality and empowerment for women and girls. Driven by the Grieg gender objectives, the Gender function implements the following:
- Mainstreaming gender in programming policies and organizational culture and promotion of gender responsive budgeting
- Increasing retention and attendance rates for girls in schools through improved access to good sanitation facilities and personal hygiene information.
- Contribution to the reduction of teenage pregnancies and early marriage through girl assertiveness and reproductive health education programmes
- Community based training in gender and disability to contribute to equitable distribution and access to resources, information and opportunities among women and men, boys and girls in partner communities.
Advocacy is a pragmatic intervention within SOS Children’s Villages Zambia programmes portfolio. It is aimed at challenging and influencing policies and working to transform community beliefs and practices, for the purposes of promoting quality care for children who have lost or at risk of losing parental care. In order to achieve this SOS children’s Villages Zambia is currently advocating for implementation of foster care programs across the country. This is in response to a situation where there are over 13,000 children on the street; about 20,000 child-headed households and over 1.2 million orphans and vulnerable children. The organization carries out its mandate based on the principle that ‘No Child Should Grow Up Alone’.
SOS Children’s Village Lusaka
SOS Children’s Village Lusaka started its operations in August 1999. Caring for 147 children and 76 youths, there are 15 family houses, 4 Youth homes, a Kindergarten, HG Primary School, HG High School and a Vocational Training Center
SOS Children’s Village Kitwe
SOS Children’s Village Kitwe was opened in April 2003. The SOS Village has 155 Children and 37 youths in 16 Family houses, and also has a Kindergarten, HG Primary School and a Medical Center.
SOS Children’s Village Livingstone
SOS Children’s Village Livingstone was opened in September 2008. The SOS Village cares for 158 children in 15 Family houses; it has a Kindergarten and HG Primary School.
SOS Children’s Villages Chipata
SOS Children’s Village Chipata was opened in October 2012. The SOS Village cares for 116 Children in 13 family houses. It also has a Kindergarten to provide early childhood care and education.